Why visit a former hospital? Because this was a medical facility unlike any other. After almost a decade of refurbishing, this extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage complex recently opened to the public as a convincing argument that doctors a century ago had some intriguing ideas about what constituted good care—and that Gaudí did not come out of nowhere. Designed in 1901 by Lluis Domènech i Montaner, it was conceived as a hospital village to look after all the needs of its patients, providing a freestanding library, parks and gardens for the healing powers of pleasant reflection, and personal services such as a barber shop. Domènech i Muntaner’s use of graceful sculpture, stained glass, and exquisite mosaic tiles defines the best of the era that was the generation before Gaudí. It covers the equivalent of 9 city blocks, although the architect set it at a 45-degree angle to the L’Eixample grid to make it an architectural island in the city. Now that the beautiful landscaping is back in place, visitors can experience the sense of peace and tranquility that must have comforted hospital patients (and the medical staff). Reconstructed interiors of some pavilions—communal patients’ rooms, sunrooms, even a sunlight-flooded circular surgery center—help visitors picture the former use of the spaces. The complex is about a 10-minute stroll up Avinguda Gaudí from La Sagrada Familia—stop halfway and you can gaze up and down the street for a view of each masterpiece. We recommend attending an evening musical event in the administrative building; audiences get time to savor the over-the-top ornamentation and listen to visiting artists play the piano that belonged to famed Barcelona soprano Victoria de los Angeles, who gave her name to the concert series: www.lifevictoria.com.
Sant Pau Recinto Modernista
Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
Our Rating Hours Apr–Oct Mon–Sat 9:30am–6:30pm, Sun 9:30am–2:30pm; Nov–Mar Mon–Sat 9:30am–4pm, Sun 9:30am–2:30pm Transportation Metro: Hospital de Sant Pau/Dos de Maig Phone 93-553-78-01 Prices Self-guided tour 14€ adults, 9.80€ seniors and ages 29 and under, kids 11 and under free Web site Sant Pau Recinto Modernista
MapCarrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167 Barcelona
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.